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Zimmer Hit with Lawsuits over NexGen LPS Knee Replacements

May 10, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

Zimmer Inc. is facing at least three lawsuits over failed  NexGen LPS knee replacements.  The Zimmer NexGen LPS knee replacement lawsuits were filed over the past several weeks in Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky.

As we’ve reported previously, Zimmer NexGen LPS knee components were recalled last September.   The recall was issued because some of the devices were found to have nonconforming and inconsistent geometry. The recall involved 158 flex gender femoral components and 192 femoral components of various sizes

The Zimmer NexGen LPS “high-flex” components are designed to allow a greater degree of flexion. All of the recently filed Zimmer NexGen LPS knee replacement lawsuits claim the higher flexation allowed by this particular knee replacement also poses a higher risk of loosening. The complaints further allege that Zimmer downplayed and understated the risk of problems with Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex Gender Solutions.

Critics of high-flex knee devices claim they don't always deliver as promised.  For one thing, the high-flexion coveted by many patients will not be achieved in those whose mobility was very severely restricted before the surgery.  A distinct disadvantage of this type of procedure is the fact that much more bone must be removed from the back of the knee to accommodate the device components.

At least one study has indicated that the NexGen LPS-Flex may be prone to loosening and early failure. That study, which was published in 2007 in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Edition), found that 38 percent of patients who underwent total knee replacement with a Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex experienced loosening within two years, with about half needing revisions.

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